To the editor,
Setting the record straight
In response to the district attorney’s statement in the April 15, 2007, edition of the Express-Star, the district attorney likes to keep saying that different rules apply and keep changing throughout the process. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The rules and law stem from Oklahoma statutes and Oklahoma Constitutional enactments. The judges, defense counsel, and yes, even the district attorney, must abide by the law. The district attorney disagrees with the judge’s interpretation of a 1910 statute; that is his prerogative. But it does not change the fact that this statute is still on the books and applies to all citizens of Oklahoma.
It is a fact that Magistrate Harris ordered Mr. Parks to testify; however, what the district attorney does not tell you, is that Mr. Parks was ordered to testify after being subpoenaed by the district attorney as a State’s witness. It was Bret’s decision to call my client for the State, not the court’s. Bret did not have to call him as a witness; and quite frankly, after the argument had with Magistrate Harris, myself and the district attorney regarding the magistrate’s authority and the constitutional immunity issue, I was surprised that Bret went ahead and demanded my client questioned. After 30 years of practicing law in the State of Oklahoma, practicing city, state and federal criminal law, being a former assistant district attorney under Andy Coats, and former judge, I have seen numerous ill-conceived trial tactics, this one included. The statute that the district attorney likes to disagree with had no relevance to Mr. Parks’ forced testimony; the issue was resolved based upon the Oklahoma Constitution.
Bret did not need this testimony for preliminary hearing, but yet, he demanded it at his own peril.
To assess blame on the judges for following the law of the State of Oklahoma is misdirected; the district attorney should place the blame on himself for not knowing the law.
To the editor,